MOVIE TIME: SUICIDE SQUAD (2016)

Let me just start by saying that I’m not the biggest fan DC Comics movies fan. I mean I barely even see any, if I’m being completely honest. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to see this one as well. That, and the bad reviews.

Continue reading “MOVIE TIME: SUICIDE SQUAD (2016)”

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MEET ME IN A COFFEE SHOP: MOZART CAFÉ

I love cafés. I love finding new places where I can go out either alone or with my friends and enjoy a cup of coffee, or tea, or whatever we feel like drinking. So, I kinda made it my mission to find new coffee shops, tea houses or bars that have something special.

Today I want to share with you one of my favorites here in Cluj: Amadeus Mozart Café! Continue reading “MEET ME IN A COFFEE SHOP: MOZART CAFÉ”

MOVIE TIME: MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro is a beautiful animated movie, from 1988, that tells the story of two sisters and their little adventures once they move to rural Japan together with their father, in order to be closer to their mother who is sick in the hospital.

It all starts with Satsuki and her little sister Mei moving together with their father in a small village in Japan. The girls seem really excited about the place and see everything as an adventure ready to begin.

One day while she is playing in their backyard, little Mei, finds a little creature that she decides to follow. And then, just like in Alice in Wonderland, she finds herself in another world, where she meets this really big creature that she decides to call Totoro. Continue reading “MOVIE TIME: MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988)”

MOVIE TIME: MOCKINGJAY PART II

I LOVE The Hunger Games! I mean, I didn’t leave the house until I finished reading the books, and I saw the first two movies at least 4 times each.

Since I love it so much, as part of my birthday gift this year, two of my friends, decided to take me to the premiere of Mockingjay Part II. Before the actual premiere we also had the chance to watch Mockingjay Part I, so that was good (even though I’m not a big fan of it).

Anyway… Back to the movie…

I was so excited for Part II. Even though I thought Part I was kind of dull and boring, I still had high hopes for Part II.

If Part I was dull and boring, Part II was action-packed, so action-packed that it was all a mess if you ask me.

It all started pretty slow, with them doing “propos” to convince people to riot against the capitol and then you have the last half an hour or so, packed with all the action of the movie. It was too much even for someone who read the book, to understand and take in everything that was happening.

What I disliked the most about the movie, however, is the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale. I dreaded every minute of it. I don’t know why they chose to have Katniss going around kissing Gale and Peeta, but it was a bad decision. It made her look whiny and indecisive and took away a lot from the story.

All in all, I feel like Mockingjay Part II was a disappointment. Maybe even more than Mockingjay Part I.

Have you seen Mockingjay Part II? Did you like it?

Alex D.

MOVIE TIME: TAKING WOODSTOCK (2009)

It’s been a while since I posted a movie review, or since I posted anything, really. I’ve been busy lately so I barely find time to relax and post something.

Taking Woodstock is a movie I saw some time ago and it is obviously about the famous festival Woodstock. Actually about how and where the festival took place.

The film follows the true story of Elliot Tiber, whose parents owned a small motel, close to bankruptcy, called El Monaco Resort. Because of financial problems and being close to forclosure, Elliot plans to organize a small music festival in the town in order for people to come and seek accommodation to their motel. However, when he finds out that the organizers from Woodstock no longer had a location for their festival, he offers his permit and accommodation to Michael Lang, while the location is provided by Eliot’s neighbor.

Of course, thanks to the high number of people coming in for the festival, Eliot and the organizers face various problems: from troubles with the locals to lack of accommodation and traffic jams.

The ending is pretty obvious, since everyone knows how the festival ended.

What I liked about this movie was the fact that it didn’t necessarily followed the story of Woodstock itself, but rather the story of Eliot and his crazy idea of “taking Woodstock”. Not only did it change his life, but also his parents’ lives and the lives of everyone who participate to the festival.

I’ll be honest, this was not necessarily “my type of movie”, but I really enjoyed it. It was great to see how people, young people lived back then, how free they seemed to be and how much they enjoyed life. I almost wished I was there.

I definitely recommend it: 7/10

Alex D.

BOOK REVIEW: ALLEGIANT

I think you’ve all heard about the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. If you haven’t, this trilogy has three books (obviously!): Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant. The main topic of the books is this dystopian world (like most books these days) that young people try to escape. It’s somewhat similar with The Hunger Games, but at the same time different.

The main character of the book(s) is Beatrice Prior (Tris) who at the age of 16 has to choose between the 5 factions their world is divided in: Dauntless, Amity, Abnegation, Candor or Erudite. Normally, they have to choose according to their characteristics or traits they have, as persons. However, there are people who can’t be constrained within the characteristics of only one faction, but rather have traits for all of them (these are usually hunted down), and Tris is one of those people.

To be honest I was really looking forward to reading the third book because I truly enjoyed the first two. The plot was interesting, full of suspense and you were always looking forward to the next chapter. In the third book, on the other hand things were a little different…

The first ten (or so) chapters I was looking forward to the last chapter of the book rather than the next chapter. Then, somewhere around the middle, it got interesting and I finally got excited. Too bad for me, because after another seven chapters (or so) it got boring again and it kept going like that until the end of the book.

Now you might ask why I kept reading it if it was so boring. (I asked myself the same thing every time I was reading a new chapter.) The answer is simple. Because I liked the first two books and I really wanted to see how it ends. And the end was not disappointing. I was actually surprised and shocked by the turn of events.(I don’t know how I didn’t find out the end before reading the book, but it happened.)I wasn’t expecting the ending that it had and I felt like the characters deserved more closure than they were given. Also, I feel like the story of the last book could’ve been condensed in less pages, which I think it would’ve made it more interesting.

All in all, the Divergent Trilogy wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. If you like The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner you should definitely give it a try.

Have you read Divergent?

Alex D.

MOVIE TIME: GONE GIRL

It was about time I saw this movie. Everybody said it’s really good so I had to give it a try.

Gone Girl tells the story of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) who appear to have the perfect life. However, when she disappears on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary and things from their pasts come to life, he becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance.

I won’t tell you how the story develops or how it ends, but I will tell you this: the line of the story is quite predictable, but the end is unexpected. You have an idea, fifteen minutes in, about who is the “mastermind” behind Amy’s kidnapping. Granted, you don’t know how or why it happened but you know who did it. But, if the line of the story is predictable you don’t expect to end the way it ended, which I believe is (kinda) the element of surprise.

All in all it was a good movie, worth watching for the details that make this story interesting, and for the actors that do a really good job with their characters. I give it a 7/10.

Have you seen it?

Alex D.

A Journey of “Self-Discovery”: The Road Within

While searching for travel movies to watch, I came across this one only to realize that is more than a travel movie. It is more of a journey of “self-discovery”.

The Road Within is the American version of the German movie Vincent and the Sea. (I haven’t seen this one. Yet.) It tells the story of a teenager with Tourettes, Vincent (Robert Sheehan), who after his mother death, is taken to a behavioural facility, by his father. Here he meets Alex (Dev Patel) who has OCD and Marie (Zoe Kravitz) who has an eating disorder.

Together, after stealing the car keys of one of the doctors, they embark on a journey to take Vincent’s mother ashes to the ocean, while trying to deal with their problems.

And even though they aren’t really friends, they end up helping each other with their disorders, more than the facility ever had, which make them grow closer to each other.

The reason why I liked this movie is because of the way the actors portray the struggles someone with mental disorders has to deal with. Granted, I don’t know anyone in real life with Tourettes, OCD or an eating disorders, but maybe this is exactly why I liked how the actors portrayed the characters, because it offered me an insight on the fights of a person with a mental disorder.

Alex D.